Resurrection - Installing a Heart

January 1, 2008

Now being January 1, 2008, the engine was in. I simply got fed up looking at the finished engine on the stand day after day....year after year. So I unleashed my alter ego, Grog from his cave and set him to work. He did a pretty good job but had a couple of false starts. He had the engine hoist chains too short and couldn't get the engine to swing back far enough without hitting the fire wall. He ended up destroying the little pilot bearing seal. I had a spare...thank goodness. But after a few hours...from the topside...then from under the car...then from the topside...then from under the car again...I swear more time was spent getting up off the ground than actually turning a wrench, and using some long bolts to pull it tight to the tranny the engine finally seated and could be called “installed!” Just prior to this however I had to fix a “minor” issue I had discovered. It was quite alarming actually. Seems that the locator pins in the SR flywheel had decided they didn’t like home and wanted out! Of the three locator pins, one was missing completely, one was loose enough that I simply pulled it out with my finger tips and the third was visibly wobbly. Geez! The evidence of the errant pin was right there on the inside of the bell housing. It looked like someone had taken a small hammer and hit it about a hundred times. Lots and lots of little dents from the pin as it ricocheted its way around the inside of the housing (see Rebuild Overview Part 1 for pics). So before the clutch and pressure plate could be reinstalled I had to machine a new pin and reinstall all three pins such that they would never again escape. I used some high temperature/high stress Permatex sleeve retainer compound (PN 64000) and tapped those pins into place with a hammer. They are in there good! Oh and one more thing, a new pilot bearing and seal and a new clutch fork were installed. There were several reports of cracked clutch forks from using high pressure aftermarket clutch assemblies. I had seen two of these in friend’s cars. Rumor was Mazda had a new more durable fork assembly. So I bought the new part and installed it. I don’t know if it was any different because with my eyes they were identical in shape and configuration. For $80 better safe than sorry…I guess. Ok back to the story… !

Ready to be transplanted.

Home Sweet Home.

The engine was in. YEAH for me! Oh and there was no issue with the new GZ oil pan thank goodness. There was some fiddling with the aftermarket Noltec motor mounts but it all went together ok. The Noltec motor mounts required a switch from an aluminum drivers side mounting bracket, that came with ’93 and ’94 FD’s, to a steel bracket from a later year FD to allow proper fitment of the Noltec mount. A passenger side bracket can also be used it will just have the extra threaded holes for a heat shield which isn’t necessary on the drivers side. Once the engine was in I set to work on the turbo. AN fittings for turbo coolant and oil drain were a royal PITA. I had to take pretty much the whole turbo apart to get them installed. It was easy once you know how however. Then the whole assembly - turbo, manifold, turbine exhaust stub pipe, wastegate and wastegate dump pipe all had to be installed TOGETHER...since all the connections had been safety wired. No way those freakin’ connections are coming loose now! Thing is, to get the assembly onto the block I had to undo the motor mounts and jack up the passenger side of the engine to get the clearance to get the manifold onto the engine exhaust side studs.

Next up was all the ancillaries...AC, PS, etc, etc. I had forgotten how little room there was to work when it is all bolted together. I did take the time to polish EVEYTHING. Yup I did the PS/AC bracket, the airpump, repolished the air separator tank, and I even went so far to disassemble the alternator and polish the housing. I am indeed “certifiable.” The PS pulley had been quiet stubborn when removing the PS pump, creaking and groaning with the puller attached. I wasn’t comfortable reusing it so I shelled out some $’s and bought a nice shiney polished unorthodox pulley. Then the really questionable items were next. The wiring. The cold weather (this is January mind you) didn't help installing the harness but it went ok...I guess. It's a thick bundle and bending those wires was tough in such a small space. Also consider it had to be done in such a way as to work around the braided SS fuel lines. I still had some more work to do on making sure the harness didn’t rub on anything and getting the connections made, once the UIM was on, was going to be "interesting." So what was left? Not much really. I had to finish all the electrical connections, make and run the fuel lines from chassis to block, finish the braided SS wastegate lines, run a few of the vacuum lines, wire up the fuel pumps, figure out where to mount the 2 stroke oil reservoir, and shorten the new ignition wires. At that time I didn’t know if I wanted to hack up a set of Magnacor wires or a great set of 10mm Taylor ProRace wires I had “stolen” off eBay for $30. The Taylor wires are HUGE and no longer made. They were both 2G RX-7 wires so two of the wires were a bit on the long side.

It wasn’t all perfect however. I had some problems to deal with. The thicker GZ oil pan flange made the engine sit higher which meant the strut bar no longer fit. I certainly didn't anticipate that problem! Basically the turbo outlet now sat too high to fit under the strut tower bar. I was wondering why I had to run a few new coolant lines…the old ones were too short! The throttle body coolant line, that ran from the rear of the TB to the rear of the block, had clearance issues with the firewall now (I was using an AN line). I also didn’t have anywhere to mount the fuel pressure gauge sensor due to the relocated coils. Not to mention I thought the ignition wiring harness to the coils was on the short side. There was still lots more to do but, progress was progress, and it's amazing what just a couple of days free of family obligations can do for a guy. !

The last hurdle...finishing touches and the RESULT

Rebuild Summary
Rebuild Overview Part 1
Rebuild Overview Part 2
Rebuild Overview Part 4



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This page last updated March 19, 2009

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